Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992)

The final entry in the “Maniac Cop” trilogy is just about as good as the first two, so if you liked them, you’ll probably like this one too. Like its predecessor, it’s missing some of the 1980s New York City griminess of the original that made the whole thing so palpably disreputable and unsettling, like it should be watched in a smoke-filled grindhouse that only exists in Quentin Tarantino’s wet dreams. That being said, director William Lustig keeps things visually dark, which masks some of budgetary issues along the way and adds an “anything can happen” vibe that’s surprisingly electric. It starts to drag in the middle and you find your mind wandering a bit here and there, but then in the last 20 minutes, everything comes alive again with a crackerjack climax that involves a pyrotechnic car chase across a bridge that’s impressively scary. It’s also nice that the filmmakers immediately address the last shot of “Maniac Cop 2” in a way that at least demonstrates a respect for the audience by acknowledging what came first and building upon it instead of ignoring it outright.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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